Contrary to the stereotype of eagerness and politesse, the second Bold Thinking Report from NATIONAL Public Relations has found Canadians to be scornful and cynical towards businesses and governments. Along with this cynicism comes mistrust, and this mistrust blocks relationships.
“Cynicism is a cancer that eats at relationships and is not sustainable,” says Kim West, Chief Client Officer in Toronto and partner at NATIONAL Public Relations. “People don’t want to just buy something, they want to buy into something.”
The report was authored by Julien Coulter, Vice-President and Head of Strategic Planning, and Michael Mahoney, Senior Strategist at NATIONAL.
Researchers analyzed 44,000 online conversations over one year across five social networks.
- 91 per cent of conversations had strong expressions of cynicism
- 75 per cent of conversations included fairness as a prominent value
- 61 per cent of conversations indicated authenticity was key to appearing fair
What to do
Canadians feel helpless over the choices of key decision makers and let down by a system that isn’t delivering its promise of economic growth, security and freedom. From students entering an unstable job market to retirees stressing over healthcare and pension plans, Canadians across the board are fed up.
The solution lies in fairness and authenticity, two values by which Canadians evaluate everything they perceive. This is referred to as the bi-focal values filter.
“More and more, people will support companies and leaders with whom they feel they share common values,” says West. “By delivering on expectations for fairness and authenticity, businesses and leaders can develop better practices and communicate in ways that resonate.”
On October 5, Canadian Government Executive will be holding a summit to help members of the public sector deliver and make true on promises. This kind of accountability is critical to building relationships with the citizens government serves.
A video discussing the report is available here.